It's the summer solstice and all around the northern hemisphere, people are celebrating the longest day of the year and the start of summer.
Although not widely celebrated in the US, it holds a special place in my heart because of my Finnish roots. Two years ago, Jon and I were visiting my family in Finland and experienced the joy of celebrating Midsummer, or Juhannus, as it's called in Finnish. It's the biggest summer holiday in Finland and most Finns, including my family, spend Juhannus at a quiet cabin by a lake - celebrating with a picnic, sauna and midnight bonfire.
Because of our travel constraints and the need to get to the airport early the next day, Jon and I couldn't join them and instead spent the last day of our vacation in Helsinki. Lucky for us, Helsinki puts on a large celebration at Seurasaari, an island near the city. So even though we couldn't join in the lakeside family holiday, we did get to experience a fun festival atmosphere before heading back home to Seattle. We enjoyed exploring the island, watching traditional folk dancing and feasting on my favorite festival food. But, the highlight of the night were the large bonfires set on the small islands just offshore. The tradition of lighting a bonfire started in the 1800's as a way to scare off the evil spirits, but now its just a fun way to celebrate the start of summer.
Bonfire at Midsummer Celebration by Jonathon Colman (creative commons).[/caption] Our last evening in Finland was lit up with gorgeous colors from the bonfires and a spectacular 11pm sunset, too! What a fabulous way to end our holiday!
Sunset on Seurasaari - photo by Jonathon Colman (creative commons)
After we returned home, the colors from that evening kept playing over in my mind and inspired me to create a whole new color line for my Glass Elements jewelry. The first piece that came out of the inspiration is on the left in the photo below. I love how the warmth of the bonfire and the 11pm sunset come across in the vibrancy and fluidity of the glass.
Want to add a bit of Midsummer Celebration to your collection? There are several new fiery bonfire inspired pieces in the etsy shop waiting for you!
Happy Midsummer! Hyvää Juhannusta!